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Not all of us need the garage space. You do not have many things to store or a car to park inside the garage. As a result, you may think about converting the garage space for other uses. How to convert a garage into a room?
To convert a garage into a room:
- Decide what space you plan to convert the garage into.
- Investigate the requirements with your local HOA, building code, and municipal.
- Only start the work after you have secured approval.
- Perform the conversion work by yourself or hire out the work.
- Enjoy the new space!
This article explores how you can convert a garage into a room. We look at the requirements and have some ideas on what you can do. Before starting your conversion work, we also discuss some things you want to consider.
Why Convert Garage Space?
People convert garage space to rooms to maximize living spaces. Some also do it for financial reasons. Other reasons to convert garage space into rooms may include the following:
- Turn It Into A Functional Space
- Additional Source Of Income
- Increase Property Value
- Cost-Saving Measure
- Not Waste Parking Space
Here’s a thing – not everyone needs a garage or appreciates having one. In fact, garages are not common in many houses around the world. In some places, they prefer having more rooms or larger living spaces than a garage.
If you think the same, you are not wrong. People do convert their garages for other uses too. Aside from not needing the garage, some convert their garage because of the reasons below:
Turn It Into A Functional Space
Not all of us need the garage to store things or to park our cars. So rather than leaving the garage barren, you can turn it into a space you would use.
For example, if you regularly host friends or family, you can convert the garage into a guest room. If you enjoy working out but hate the trip to the gym, you can always pack up the space with gym equipment.
You can also turn the space into a workshop to indulge your passions. Like fixing cars? Mount in a car lift, and fill up the benches with tools. Enjoy woodworking? Turn it into a wood shop. The possibilities are endless, and it sure is better than leaving the garage unused.
Additional Source Of Income
In some situations, you may be able to convert your garage space into living quarters. This could be done by converting the garage into rooms. You can then rent out these rooms and become a small landlord yourself.
This strategy may work out well if you live in college towns, where room demands are sky-high.
Suppose your garage is near a subway or commuting train station. In this case, you could convert your garage into parking spaces too. Commuters could park their car in your garage and walk to the stations to take their trains.
Increase Property Value
If done well, converting your garage space into a living space can increase its value. This is because, in some locations, people may appreciate living spaces more than a garage.
However, a garage is still seen as one of the most important features in homebuyers’ eyes. This means you want to be careful doing this.
Perhaps the best thing to do is to turn part of your garage into a living space. At the same time, leave out some space for parking, storage, etc.
You usually have to extend the house when you want to increase your living space. This may cost you a lot since you need to purchase materials. It will cost even more if you decide to hire out the work.
Another option to save money is to just convert your garage space. The structure is already there, so all you need to do is to spruce up the inside and make it livable. Definitely, a low-budget and smart thing to do.
Not Waste Parking Space
With ride-sharing and improving public transport, cars may not be important. This means you may not need a car. This may not apply everywhere, but you may be living in places that do not require a car.
In this case, your garage may sit empty. Why not convert it to something more useful for yourself? It is certainly better than wasting the space you have in hand.
Things To Consider Before Converting Your Garage
Before you start converting your garage, think of some issues beforehand. This prevents you from wasting time, effort, and money. They are:
- Managing loss of storage space
- Possible effect on your house’s value
- Conversion costs of time, labor, and money
- Legal and compliance with authorities.
Now, converting your garage into a living space may not be straightforward. There are regulations and potential issues you need to think about. They are:
Loss Of Storage Space
One of the primary reasons to have a garage is to store things. When you convert your garage into a living space, you lose that.
Suppose you plan to do the conversion work. Then, it would help if you thought about how you will manage your current and future storage needs.
If you turn your garage into a gym, for example, then this should be easy. Just bolt on many overhead storage racks, and you should be good.
However, if you are turning them into rooms, it may be hard to find storage spaces. Perhaps leaving a small area of the garage unconverted may be a good option here. Instead, just build many racks and shelves and store things there.
Resell Value Of Your House
One of the things many homebuyers care about when they buy a house is the garage. This is a fact discovered by many studies. Many want to have a garage their neighbors will envy.
This represents an opportunity and possible pitfalls for you too. Suppose you converted the garage into something the homebuyer loves. In this case, you are in for a nice return on investment.
But if the homebuyer prefers a simple, barren garage, they may not like it. In fact, they may ask for a lower price since they need to tear down your conversion work.
Before you perform any conversion work, consider its effect on your home’s resale value. This is because the changes in home value may affect things such as refinancing or your mortgage.
Another matter to think about is the conversion cost. The garage is usually a barren, utilitarian space. You may need to spend quite some money to turn it into a living space.
You need to spend money on paint to spruce up the space at the bare basics. You may need some sheet plywood and insulation to tidy up the wall. The bare concrete floor needs refinishing, perhaps by applying some epoxy flooring.
It would help if you also thought about climate control. You may need to install air conditioners and heaters. There is also lighting and access, which means creating windows and doors.
If you prefer to save some money here, you can attempt to do the conversion work yourself. However, if you plan to hire out the work, you must also prepare additional funds.
Garage Conversion Costs
If you want the job done by professionals or DIY, Here is up-to-date info at Homeadvisor.com
Legal And Compliance
The biggest headache for you may be dealing with legal and local requirements. Often, you will need clearance from many authorities before you can start.
These may include:
Homeowners Association (HOA): Your local homeowner’s association should know about your conversion work. This is because conversion work may affect the value of your neighboring properties. They may approve or request changes to your plan.
Municipal: Your local governments also need to be in the know of your work. In many cases, they need to ensure your conversion does not cause issues with the community. They also need to ensure your property is being labeled and taxed correctly.
Building Codes: Your conversion work must comply with the building codes of your locality. Walls must be of a certain thickness, living rooms cannot be too small, and more. There are also requirements for ventilation and lighting.
Experts: Your conversion work may require expert inspection after it is done. In this case, you may need a structural engineer or a house inspector. They will check on things and confirm that your conversion work is done to spec.
Convert Your Garage Into a Living Space
Some ideas to convert your garage include bedrooms, family rooms, and apartments. If you regularly host guests, you can also turn your garage into a guest house. You can also turn it into a commercial living space, such as a bed and breakfast.
You can do many things to turn your garage into a living space. These living spaces could be for yourself, your family, or your friends. They can become a commercial spaces too. These include:
Have a growing family? Turning your garage into a bedroom may be a good idea. However, when it comes to bedrooms, you have some things to consider. These include legal, lighting, ventilation, safety, and more.
Some areas may not allow your garage to become a bedroom, so check to ensure this first. There are rules about how small a bedroom can be and how much headspace you must allow.
If you plan to have partition walls, the walls need to be thick enough for sound insulation and fire safety. Check with structural engineers and inspectors first before you start building.
A family room may be a space for your family to spend time together. At times, the living room alone may not be enough for everyone. You also may not be able to do everything in the living room.
Convert your garage to a second family room. If you have kids that like to run around and make a lot of noise, turn your garage into a family playroom. Stack up some racks, and store toys there too.
You can even build a mini sports area for the kids. Just bold on a basketball hoop or a soccer goal, and draw some lines for pickleball or floorball.
You can now play with your kids all year round inside the space, even in the winter. If you see the need, use some climate control, such as a heater and an HVAC.
If you intend to become a landlord, consider turning your garage into an apartment and renting it out. This may sound attractive, but you must spend money upfront to convert the space.
The requirements may be similar to bedrooms. There will be building codes, safety, and structure clearances first. On top of that, you may need to upgrade your wiring, plumbing, and sewage systems.
Do you live in a tourist town or a popular area? Are you a social butterfly with many friends visiting and staying in? Well, turn your garage into a guest room.
The process and requirements would be like converting your garage into a bedroom. On top of that, since a guest room would not be used as frequently, you may be able to skimp on some creature comforts.
For example, you may not need to install good heaters and air conditioners. Instead, smaller, portable ones may work just fine.
Bed And Breakfast
If you want to turn your living space into a money maker, why not turn your garage into a bed and breakfast operation? This can help you socialize with many people and also make some money along the way.
Your garage can become the bedroom and bathroom. You can host their breakfast in your dining room for breakfasts and all.
Converting your garage into a bed and breakfast may be challenging, however. On top of the issues with structure and safety, you also need to work on the business side of things. You may need to register the operation as a business and sort out taxations too.
Convert Your Garage Into a Work Space
If you prefer to be more productive with your garage space, you can turn them into a place for you to work. Depending on what work means to you, there are several options you can consider here.
Being productive and efficient can be difficult without a proper workspace. Turning your garage into an office may just be the best way to manage this. In fact, some of the world’s greatest companies were born out of garage offices too.
Bring in the computers, work desks, and lighting. If you need to, set up some storage cabinets for binders too. You can also build a mini office for you or several people. You can work on your desk, while your children can do their homework on the others.
Spruce up the space by adding windows for natural light or LED lighting. Insulate and add heating and cooling to make the space comfortable to work too.
If you enjoy working on more creative endeavors, such as photos and videos. In this case, what about turning your garage into a studio?
Set up the backdrop and lighting, and get going. If you will make videos, spend some money and put up sound insulation pads too. Host models, or you can also rent out the space for other photographic and video graphic projects.
You can also turn your garage into a jamming and recording studio if you are into making music. But, ensure it is properly insulated to avoid the noise from troubling your neighbors.
If you are into working with your hands, why not turn your garage into a workshop of some sort. This conversion work may be preferred by many potential homebuyers too.
Your conversion work will cater to your work needs. If you turn it into an auto shop, you will need racks and shelving to store tools and fluids. A post lift may be needed, too, to lift vehicles.
If you are into woodworking, you will need at least a workbench. Then you will need shelvings for your power tools. Set up stations for cutting, planning, joining, and more.
Read More: How to Set Up a Workshop in Garage
If work to you means indulging in craft work, converting your garage into a craft room will make sense. This may allow you to turn your craftwork into a more industrial scale. You may even be able to turn this into a business.
Craftwork can vary widely, so the conversion work may be more complex. Suppose you are looking to create a craft room to make soap. You will need a couple of benches to mix the ingredients and turn them into soap bars.
You will also need space for packing and stacking the made soaps to send to customers.
Convert Your Garage Into a Fun Space
Not all garage space conversion needs to be for living and work. You can turn them into a space to indulge in hobbies or more hedonistic desires. Here are some fun ideas of what you can do with your garage:
Enjoy lifting weights and pounding the treadmill but hate going to gyms? Make your own instead. Just convert your garage into one.
As a start, lay some rubber mats on the floor and bring in a dumbbell set. You may also need to bench and a pull-up bar to start with. If you have an additional budget, get a bell bar rack in, so you can also work on some bench presses and squats.
You can also bring fancier gym equipment, such as those 30-in-1 stations. Then charge a fee for others to come in and work out too.
Basic Equipment for Getting Your Home Gym Started
- Good quality weightlifting barbell
- Squat rack with a pull-up bar
- Weight plates with a bumper or metal plates. Bumper plates are better for a garage gym as you can drop them without damaging the floor.
- Bench press. It can also be used for many upper and lower body movements beyond bench pressing. Look for something portable and versatile if you need to move it out of the way sometimes.
|Basic Gym Equipment|
|Most Popular Weightlifting Barbell Bars at Amazon|
|Most Popular Squat Racks at Amazon|
|Most Popular Weight Plates and Racks at Amazon|
|Most Popular Bench Press at Amazon|
More Gym equipment
- Air fan bike
- Rowing machine
- Single column cable machine
- Gymnastic rings
- Mobility bar, stability ball
- Different belts and straps
- Spring or lock Collars for weight plates
- Kettlebells, resistance bands, foam roller
- 3 sided plyometric boxes
Probably every man out there desires to have his own man cave. You can do this by converting your garage into one. Man caves are made to satisfy your desires, so the options can be endless.
Enjoy video gaming? Set up a huge flat-screen TV with a station to host your consoles and accessories. Have a fridge where you can have all your favorite snacks, alcohol, and drinks ready.
Enjoy hanging out with your buddies over a game of pool? Bring in a pool table, with some high benches or couches for the others to hang. You can also have glass cabinets to showcase your toys and models.
If you are into BBQing, you can also set up freezers and fridges to store meat and condiments. Build a station to prepare your meat, and of course, a grill to cook that juicy meat up.
The sky’s the limit on this one, so feel free to imagine and start building.
Read More: Designing a Man cave
If you are a cinema buff, enjoy watching movies and all. In this case, why not turn your garage into a cinema room?
Start with a large, comfy couch, with drinks and snacks. Then bolt on the largest flat-screen TV you want, and connect it to a surround sound system you would love to enjoy. Next, invest in curtains to block out sunlight.
You also may want to consider sound insulation and absorption pads to prevent echo. Finally, have a fridge where you can keep the drinks and food cool and on standby when you need any.
Fancy becoming a bartender? Or do you just enjoy sipping beautifully made cocktails? Here’s a chance for you to play mixologist – set up your own bar in your garage.
This may be a lot more straightforward than you think. Start with a display shelving to stock up on alcohol. Then put it in a large fridge to store your garnishing and juices to mix with your alcohol.
Depending on how fancy you want this to be, you can either have an island cabinet or a full-on bar. Here, you set up a station to mix your drink and serve them out to your friends. For the latter, you may need a stool or two.
Your friends and family may want some entertainment in your bar. In this case, set up a pool table or a station for video games. If you think this works, what about a karaoke stand?
Greenhouse / Garden
Suppose you enjoy gardening yet live in places with a cold climate that may kill plants. In this case, turn your garage into a garden or greenhouse.
This way, you can grow plants year-round without worrying about the climate.
You can set up racks to hold your plant pots depending on what you plan to grow. You can also go high-tech and build up hydroponic growing lines. Spruce it up with a water and fertilizer feeding system.
However, one thing you need to think about is lighting. Garages may not have enough lighting for your plants. You can deal with this by having transparent panels on parts of your roofing. You can also install LED lighting as artificial sunlight for your plants.
If you are passionate about scaring people or children, set up a haunted house. This may work exceptionally well during Halloween too. Charge some money for people to go inside it, and watch their terrified faces for your enjoyment.
Start by erecting some temporary walls, lights, and props. Then, cover the place with black tarps or black plastic sheets. This darkens the space, increasing the eeriness.
Then, add in some blind corners. Build up a maze and ‘trap’ terrified people inside it. Screw in some fishing, like the roof beams, to hold props. Use lighting and speakers to set the mood.
How To Start Converting Your Garage?
To start converting your garage:
- Start by cleaning up the space.
- Spruce up the space to make it more livable.
- Paint the walls, and install storage solutions to help organize things inside.
- You can add creature comforts such as air conditioning and epoxy flooring.
Converting your garage space into a living space may require some work. This is because you are turning barren space into a livable space with creature comforts.
However, one good thing about the process is that you do not need to do much external work. The garage structure is already there, with wiring and all sorted out. You only focus on the interior, sprucing it up.
Below are the simple steps you may consider to start the conversion work:
- Start by clearing out everything non-essential. These could be furniture or things you no longer need. Doing this frees up the space to allow you to perform the necessary work.
- Once you clear out these things, figure out what to do with it. You can throw them out, sell, give away, or repurpose anything you don’t really need. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply get rid of things you have not used for more than 1 year.
- Next, now that the space is freed up, clean the space. You can start by sweeping and then vacuuming the floor. The walls and ceiling may also need some cleaning, so attend to those.
- Start planning your garage space. Where do you want to put your things? Make a floor plan where you want everything to go, and measure things out too.
- If you need storage space, consider overhead and wall-storing solutions. They help with freeing up floor space and also help to make your garage nice and tidy.
- If your conversion work requires this, consider refinishing the floor. Coat the concrete floor with some other material if needed.
- Upgrade the garage ventilation if there is none. We suggest additional windows or air extractors on the roof.
- Upgrade the lights, too, if needed. This may be extremely important if you intend to convert your garage into living and work spaces.
- Depending on the usage/region. Install insulation and finish the walls. Ensure the walls and insulation you use are compliant with your local building code.
- Depending on the usage/region. Install air heating and/or cooling. This may be important if you live further up north, where it can be hot during summer and bitter cold in winter.
Consider sectioning the space leaving one part a garage and the other room for whatever you need.
Read More: Is It Dangerous to Live Above a Garage?